Rundlet-May House

Privies, Roses, and Indoor Convenience

The wallpapered large privy on the right is for family use with plenty of room for everyone; the wallpapered one on the left is very private and spacious.

Exiting the scullery through a door and walking down a short flight of steps, luxuriously covered from any outdoor rain or wind by a roof, any member of the Rundlet household could enter a door off the scullery and walk a few more steps down a storage hallway in the connecting carriage barn.  At the end of the hallway are wall-papered privies in the attached ell. The largest of the six is in a single closet assuring the user of maximum privacy. The others vary in size accommodating the large household which included the Rundlets, their children, and their staff. Two to three times a year, a “night soil man” arrived with a “rude cart,” accessed the pit below the privies through an outside door and removed and carted away the waste. 

For practical purposes, the area of the garden closest to the privies was planted with aromatic flowers and herbs such as roses, lilacs and mock orange.